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Create the perfect pickle!

16 September 2013

Pickling most vegetables is really pretty easy and shouldn’t be remotely daunting for beginners. Fresh veggies, sterile jars, a good kettle and some basic ingredients are all you need practically speaking but in fact, the most important pieces of equipment are your taste buds. Pickling is about balancing salt, acidity from the vinegar, spices, and the natural sweetness of the vegetables. Recipes are a great place to start, but don't be afraid to try new combinations and variations to suit your tastes.

So here are a few tips for creating that perfect pickle!

1.    Make sure the vegetables you are using are the best you can find – organic is the only way when it comes to pickling. You don’t want any extra nasties going into your jar!
2.    Use good salt – that may seem odd but honestly there is good salt (sea salt) and there is bad salt (table salt).
3.    For crispier pickles, put the vegetables (whole or sliced) into a wide bowl and spread a layer of pickling salt on top. Cover and let sit overnight in a cool place. Discard the liquid, then rinse and dry the vegetables before pickling as usual. The salt helps to pull the moisture out of the vegetables and makes them crispier.
4.    Make absolutely sure that your pickling jars have been sterilised.
5.    And don’t forget to label and date your jars and store them in a cool, dry, dark place. A larder’s perfect.

You can give your jarred goods as gifts to your friends and family and smile with pride as they fuss over your fancy foodstuffs. Little do they know that you’ve gone through almost no trouble at all!

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